Kitchen Experiment: Crispy Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free Waffles

Every Sunday morning when we are home, my husband and I have breakfast together and our favorite thing to eat is waffles.  I have been on the search for a fantastic, crispy waffle for a long time and I finally found the recipe. I have made some other great waffle recipes, but this one not only tastes great, but it makes the crispiest gluten-free, dairy-free waffles that I have ever eaten.  What I love about this recipe is not only how easy it is to make, but how versatile.  I have added and changed the recipe almost every time I have made it and each time the waffles are just as delicious and just as crispy.  I forewarn you, if you are not one of those people that enjoys a crisp waffle, then these are not for you.

(The original recipe comes from the Real Food Dieticians and if you go to their site, you can find some great reviews and comments about this recipe.  )  The recipe below has a few of my own changes.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Crispy Waffles

  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. flax meal + 6 Tbsp. warm water or 2 eggs
  • 1 cup dairy free milk (flax, almond, soy, coconut)
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup liquid sweetener (maple, agave, coconut nectar) [or milk or water if you want it to be sugar-free as well]
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup oil (coconut, melted; olive, grapeseed, sunflower)

Instructions

  1. Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions.
  2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, tapioca starch and baking powder. Whisk or stir to combine well.
  3. In a small bowl or coffee cup, whisk together flax meal and warm water. Set aside until thick and egg-like.
  4. In a small bowl, add milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow to sit while you melt the coconut oil (if you are using it) on the stove.
  5. To the milk mixture, add flax meal, maple syrup, vanilla and finally, the melted coconut oil. Whisk well to combine and quickly add to dry ingredients (because coconut oil will start to harden and clump if you don’t).
  6. Stir batter just until combined. Using a ¼ cup scoop (or size recommended by manufacturer), pour batter onto preheated waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
  7. Layer on your favorite toppings and enjoy!  (My favorite – almond butter, banana, cinnamon and maple syrup)

Note:  when I first made the waffles, I thought that there was something wrong with the batter. You can see how the middle is brown but the edges do not seem to be cooked?  I have determined that it is all of the tapioca starch that makes this happen because that “uncooked” part seems gooey.  I flipped that waffle and cooked it on the other side for 30-60 seconds and then they seemed fine.  The other side looked fine:

I sprayed my waffle iron with coconut oil before cooking.  I did not have an issue with them sticking but I did see some comments with the original recipe where people complained about having that issue.

Here are some of the changes and additions that I made to the recipe:

  1. The first time I made them, I was out of coconut oil, so I used olive oil.  The consistency of the batter was a little but thinner than it is when you use coconut oil, but the waffles cooked up the same.
  2. I have been trying to go without sugar in recipes, so I made them without the maple syrup and added 1/4 cup more milk and again they tasted a little bit less sweet but they cooked up exactly the same.
  3. I made the batter with 1/4 cup maple syrup + 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 tsp. monk fruit powder and the waffles were just a little more sweet like the original recipe.
  4. I am always trying to add more vegetables into my diet so I have added:
    1. grated carrot – I made the batter in my vitamix so the carrots really were more pulverized then grated and the waffles cooked up fine with a lovely orange hue.
    2. grated zucchini – I added one small zucchini to the batter and cooked them up like normal and you would have never know that there was zucchini in there.
    3. I purchased powdered beets and kale from Earthlight and I added a tsp to the batter.  It changed their color a little but the flavor was basically the same once I added all of my toppings.

I hope you enjoy these waffles as much as I do.  It makes about 8 waffles depending upon the size of your iron.  I freeze the extras for a mid week treat!  Bon Appetite!

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Kitchen Experiments- Gluten Free, Grain Free Gingerbread

It has been awhile since I have shared any of the foods that I have been cooking in my kitchen but ever since I made this recipe, everyone has been asking me to share it. I found this recipe in a cookbook that has been on display in my office for quite some time.  This cookbook, Nourishing Meals, was written by a two fellow graduates of Bastyr University , Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre.

book

When the book was released last year, they sent me a copy for my waiting room and to be honest, I placed it there and never really glanced through it.  I am always talking about food with my clients and frequently inquire as to “what’s for dinner”.  One of my lovely clients, Geri, told me that she was making a gluten free zucchini lasagna with pine nut ricotta that evening from the book in the waiting room.  That recipe sounded very interesting and so I thought it might be time for me to glance through that cookbook and see what I could find.  I must admit that I love cookbooks with photos and this one had a middle section with some very pretty glossy colored photos.  The first thing I spotted was the gingerbread.  I love gingerbread so I flipped to the page and found this recipe.

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What I love about this recipe is that it is made without any flour.  I will give you the recipe from the book but then I will tell you the changes that I made.  It is a very bad habit of mine that I rarely follow a recipe exactly the way that it is written.  Sometimes that is a good thing and other times, not so much!

Gingerbread

1 1/2 cups creamy almond butter

1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes

1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish with coconut oil.

Place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the “s” blade and process until smooth and combined. You can also use a hand held mixer but the food processor is easier and creates a smoother batter.

Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool and slice. Gingerbread will be fragile hot out of the oven but will firm up once cooled.

baked

When I saw the ingredients in the recipe I could not believe that it would hold together. But it does and it is delicious.  What a treat – a perfect high protein snack or breakfast.

So, as I said, I made a few changes.  I don’t have a food processor any more, so I made it in my Vitamix. I did not think that the baking soda was going to be enough to make it rise, so I added a teaspoon of baking powder as well. I made it twice because the first pan was eaten very quickly.  The first time I used the amount of spices recommended in the recipe.  However, I like my gingerbread spicy so I increased the ginger to about a tablespoon and added cloves as well, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon.  That did the trick.  It was much more spicy amd more to my liking.  Also, the first time I made it, I used regular almond butter from the jar.  The second time I used fresh ground almonds from Earthlight.  The freshly ground are not as creamy and a little drier so I added a little almond milk to make the batter smoother.

Anyway you make this gingerbread, you are going to love it!  Let us know what you think.  Happy baking!

Kitchen Experiments – Pancakes anyone?

I must say that being grain free has presented a challenge for breakfast if you are thinking about typical breakfast foods.  Most mornings when I am ready for breakfast I end up staring at the refrigerator thinking about what I can eat. Cereal? Out! Rice cake with nut butter? Out! Oatmeal? Out!  Oh boy!  What else is there? Hmm, how about pancakes?  No, not your typical pancake made with flour but pancakes made with nut flour!  Oh yes!  Thank goodness!  I love soup and I can eat it anytime of day all year round, but sometimes you just want something else.  It’s actually pretty amazing all of the things that you can make with nut flour.  The only stipulation is that most recipes call for eggs and lots of them!  As you might imagine, nut flours are a lot heavier than grain flours and therefore need something to give them a little lift.  I have made pancakes with and without eggs and while both of them are good, the egg free pancakes are just a tad denser than the ones made with eggs.  My new favorite egg replacement is 2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 3 tablespoons of water.  That equals one egg.

Keep checking back for more grain free recipes because I found a delicious carrot cake recipe made with almond flour that I would love to share with you.  It made the perfect birthday cake for Anita!

pancakes

Hazelnut Flour Pancakes

1 1/2 cups hazelnut flour (I made my own in my vitamix but you can use the nut flour variety of your choice)

1 tsp. arrowroot flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 eggs

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup non-dairy milk

1 tsp. vanilla

  • In a small bowl, mix applesauce, non-dairy milk, vanilla and eggs and set aside.
  • Mix hazelnut flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.  Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Mix together.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat.  Lightly coat with cooking spray or oil of your choice. Drop 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into pan and spread out slightly for each pancake.  Cook pancakes 3-4 minutes, until bottoms have browned, then flip and cook 1-3 minutes more.  (Note: Do not wait for bubbles to appear on top of the pancake like you do when cooking regular pancakes.)
  • Spray the pan again and repeat with remaining batter.  Top with your favorite fruit, nuts and syrup and enjoy!

 

Kitchen Experiments – Beans for Dessert?

Flourless Coconut Great Northern Bean Blondies

It seems like these days I am continually searching for new recipes and especially things made without flour.  Anita and I have been on our low grain and fruit diet now for over a month and we are sick of what we are eating.  We keep looking for different ways to cook with nuts and beans.  Someone gave Anita a recipe for Almond Blondies, which you make with almond butter, and it peaked my interest so I decided to make them.  I did not have the recipe however, so I did what everyone else does when they need a recipe, I put it in Google search.  Wow, I am always surprised by the number of recipes that pop up no matter what you are searching for.  I found the almond blondie recipe but this recipe caught my eye as well:

Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies with Sea Salt.

I couldn’t resist the urge to click on that link and I was so glad that I did.  Beans for dessert?  You bet!

IMG_0969

I made the recipe and then got to thinking …what other bean nut combinations could I make? One of my favorite things that I have been making involves pecans and coconut.  I like those two things together so why not a pecan coconut blondie.  As many of you already know, when we started the ALCAT diet we also started a rotation diet, meaning that we try to only eat the same foods about every 4 days.  So, it was easy to decide which bean I wanted to use because on my pecan and coconut day I also eat white beans.  Now, there are many different white beans and any of them would work well.  I used Great Northern beans, but you could use navy, cannelini or a small white bean. I added an egg to the batter to make it more cake like, but it can be made without the egg or made with an egg substitute.  My new favorite substitution is 1 tablespoon chia seeds plus 3 tablespoons of water.  Stir and let sit until thickened.

Here is the recipe that I followed:

1 can (15oz.) Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Pecan Butter (I made my own in the Vitamix)
1/3 cup Coconut Nectar (you could use maple syrup or honey)
1 egg (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup Coconut Chips (you could use flakes)
 
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray an 8″x8″ pan with cooking spray.
IMG_0967                                                                                                             (GROUND PECANS)
~In a food processor (again I used my Vitamix), add all ingredients except the coconut and process until batter is smooth. Fold in coconut (I added the coconut to the vitamix and then just pulsed it 2-3 times). Batter will be super thick.
IMG_0970
~Spread batter evenly in prepared pan with a spatula.  It may be easier to spread with a spatula sprayed with cooking spray or dipped in water.
IMG_0972
~Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and edges are a tiny bit brown.  The batter may look underdone but you don’t want them to dry out.
IMG_0973

 Adding the beans to the recipe give the bars a really creamy texture.  To me it almost has the texture of a cheesecake.  It has got me thinking … do you think you could make a cheese cake using beans?  I will keep you posted!

Kitchen Experiments – Buckwheat Pancakes

Good morning! Sundays are my favorite day for many reasons – but most especially because it is the one morning where I get to sleep in and have a slow start to the day. The cooler fall mornings inspire me to cook a larger breakfast and this morning I felt like pancakes!  Yes, we are still rotating our diet so it could not just be any pancakes, it had to be 100% buckwheat pancakes.  I pulled out my Vitamix so that I could start with grinding my buckwheat groats into flour.  I may have said this before, but I have become very fond of the buckwheat flour that I grind from the raw buckwheat groats.  It is not as strong in smell or flavor as the toasted buckwheat flour, and I like it.  My husband is not a buckwheat fan, but these pancakes went down pretty easily.

I have also become very fond of the buckwheat and almond meal combination in cooking.  It seems to work out really well.  The almond meal cuts the strong flavor of the buckwheat and adds some extra protein.  Here is the recipe that I used:

1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup almond meal
2 teaspoon baking powder

4 tablespoons maple syrup
salt
4 tablespoons arrowroot flour

1/2 cup water
2 cup almond milk
4 tablespoons almond oil

pancakes

They were quite tasty!  I topped them with bananas and sliced almonds and then drizzled maple syrup all over it!  Now that is what I call a Sunday morning breakfast!

 

 

Kitchen Experiments – Buckwheat Applesauce Cake

I had no idea when I started to experiment with recipes for this ALCAT diet how to bake things without eggs. I always imagined that the baked items would not be as light and fluffy as their egg counterparts, but I will admit that I was wrong!  This is the third, fourth or fifth time that I have made this recipe over the past six months and I am thrilled every time I bake it and see it rise to the top of the pan.

The other thing that I am thrilled with is the flavor of buckwheat flour that is freshly ground from raw buckwheat groats.  (I think that I have mentioned in a previous post that I bought a Vitamix machine specifically so that I could grind my grains into flour and I am not sorry that I spent the money.  I love it! When I eat my freshly baked item and I think that I made it all with the freshest ingredients that I could find, it really makes me quite happy!  It’s the small things that do it for me!)

raw groats (Raw Buckwheat Groats)

Buckwheat flour that you buy at the store must be ground from toasted buckwheat because it is very dark in color and has a very distinct flavor.  I tried making 100% buckwheat pancakes with flour from the bag and they had a very strong buckwheat flavor that really did not appeal to me.  It was only when I saw the raw buckwheat groats at Earthlight Natural Foods that I realized there were the raw and the roasted.

Buckwheat is not wheat, nor is it related to wheat nor is it even a grain or a cereal. It is gluten-free and derived from the seeds of a flowering plant so technically I think that you would consider Buckwheat a fruit. This is a great recipe to make in a pan like cornbread or in muffin tins.  It is a very tasty breakfast bread delicious when spread with almond butter.  Enjoy!

buckwheat cake

Buckwheat Applesauce Cake

1 ½ c. Buckwheat Flour (ground white buckwheat)
½ c. Almond Meal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 Tbs. arrowroot powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
 
1 c. applesauce
¼ c. applebutter
½ c. sweetener (Agave Syrup, Maple Syrup)
1 Tbs. oil
¼ c. water

 Preheat oven to 350oF.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Place wet and dry ingredients in a food processor and process until mixed.  Pour into an oiled 8”x8” square pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Kitchen Experiments – No Bake Nut Butter Cookies

So I was thinking one day about cookies.  What kind of cookie could I make on day 3 of my rotation diet when there are no eggs and the grain is millet?  Sometimes this Alcat diet presents some very critical problems!  Well, somehow I remembered that I had a recipe somewhere for some no-bake cookies, so I decided to take a look.

The recipe looked interesting but of course I could not have all of the ingredients that it called for so it was time to experiment.  Basically the no bake recipe included peanut butter, sugar and oats mixed together and then rolled into balls.  So, what could I do if I had millet instead of oats?

chocolate ballsI decided that I needed to have a nut butter cookie that included chocolate, so my first attempt was peanut butter, agave syrup, cocoa, puffed millet and shredded coconut.  They were very good but the texture was a little strange with the puffed millet.  I liked them but I forgot to write down how I made them.  Well, time for another try.

The coconut in the recipe inspired me to have a nut-butter cookie with cocoa and coconut.  This was a winner!

nut ballsPeanut butter was good, but I recently was able to add back in pistachios and cashews – so I pulled out the Vitamix and made some cashew-pistachio butter.  Yummy!  That is a good combination! I decided that the texture of the millet was too weird and instead just used the coconut.  I rolled them into balls and then rolled them in extra coconut.  You have got to try these.  They are so simple, but they are delicious! Here is the recipe:

2/3 c. nut butter

1/2 c. agave syrup

1/2 c. cocoa

1/2 c. coconut + extra for coating the outside of the balls

I mixed the nut butter with the syrup first, then added the cocoa and mixed it thoroughly.  I then added the coconut.  Roll them into balls and then roll the balls in the extra coconut.  Done!  Takes about 10 minutes and it makes about 25 balls depending on how large you make them.

Try them!  Use any nut butter you have on hand and substitute any liquid sugar you like, maple, brown rice, or even barley syrup.  Roll away and you will not be sorry!  A healthy snack to have at anytime!